Master of the Die (Italian, active Rome ca. 152560), after Baldassare Tommaso Peruzzi (Italian, Sienese, 14811536)
Engraving; sheet 7 1/2 x 8 11/16 in. (19 x 22 cm)
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1949 (49.97.328)
As in Ovid's brief account of Ganymede's abduction (Metamorphoses 10.15561), in this engraving the story is all about love. Cupid is the central character, and Ganymede and the eagle are relegated to accessories, testifying to the power of the infant godeven in his sleepto disarm the supreme ruler of Olympus. Mercury, messenger of the gods, often assisted Jupiter with his love affairs. Here, he rushes to help his father, while Venus, in the company of the Graces, watches over her son.